Seven Modern Design Tips You Haven’t About Heard Before

Modern homes are more popular than ever, but many of us think decorating one can be achieved by purchasing the right modern furniture and decor, as if it is a formula. However, this ultimately ends up looking like someone else’s Pinterest Board or worse—a showroom. If you are in the process of decorating a modern home and want to create a truly unique space, it’s crucial to consider the details in a new way. Here are seven modern design tips according to top interior designers that you probably haven’t heard about yet.

Have Fun With Modern Design

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One of the biggest problems with modern homes is that they often feel cold and impersonal—almost museum-like. But according to Berkeley Minkhorst and Kelley Lentini, designers, and co-founders of House of Nomad, modern design spaces don’t need to have that serious, stark aesthetic. “We love to layer on natural materials such as a woven light fixture, grasscloth, or an accent rattan chair and incorporate unexpected moments of interest throughout the space.”

The designers also love to mix in what a client already has such as their travel finds, personal art, and vintage pieces. These elements are what can make a space feel more personal.

Lastly, they prefer to choose furniture and decor in a variety of shapes. “Try to balance sharp edges with some curves with a round coffee table or rounded back swivel chairs for instance.”

Quite simply, you don’t need a curved sofa, bookshelf, and chairs. Just choose one or two pieces.

Mix It Up With Natural Materials

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Many designers use manmade materials such as quartz countertops or acrylic chairs when designing modern homes. While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing—mixing it up with natural materials makes a space more interesting, according to Rita Naffas, Principal at Rita Naffas Design. “I like to balance clean, simple lines of modern furniture with natural materials and organic elements. This can be achieved by bringing in wood, stone, marble, or concrete materials to create warmth and interest.”

The Frame Is Also The Art

Want to level up your art? Skip the standard black, white, or gold frame and go with something bolder instead. “A modern or abstract piece of art with a bold or limited color palette can appear museum-worthy with a more ornate or traditional frame,” explains interior designer Kate Marker. “This juxtaposition enhances the complexity of the focal point. Even a simple piece will appear special with a luxe or decorative frame.”

Choose Millwork Over A Standard Wall In Smaller Spaces

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While designing small spaces can be a challenge, Joe McGuier, co-founder and principal of Jam has a smart approach—using millwork to divide a space instead of a standard wall. “By treating the millwork as a freestanding piece, your eye sees a hint of the space beyond, and natural light is allowed to travel and flow more freely between rooms, making the home feel larger and brighter,” he explains. “Sound privacy can even be achieved with this approach by cleverly fitting clear glass in spaces between the millwork and walls.”

Integrate Textural Elements Into Every Room

Texture equals visual interest. Whether it’s a velvet pillow, an oversized knit blanket, or silk drapery, these touches can make all the difference according to interior designer Caitlin Kah. “Texture is hugely important when designing modern spaces, especially in a monotone neutral space. Add texture to a room through textiles, rugs, window treatments, and other decorative accents. Wallpaper also brings an additional element of warmth and texture to a space.”

Go Low For High Design

Going low can make design all the more high. Experimenting with pieces of different heights and levels is an ideal way to decorate a modern space. Victoria Holly of Victoria Holly Interiors tells me, “With a modern design, you can get away with lower nightstands, and sofas, and even drop your pendant lighting lower for a more intimate vibe.”

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Another way to approach this is to create a high stack of books in a living room or home office.

Add Bold Color To Neutral Spaces

Neutral modern spaces, such as monochromatic rooms are very much on trend right now. While this aesthetic was once considered quite striking, at this point—it no longer looks original. However, Sarah Solis, founder, and principal, Sarah Solis Design Studio has a way to make this aesthetic more unique and updated .“Choose a color or a tone and lean into it with a singular bold moment. A great example of this would be having a neutral-colored environment with a brightly colored sofa or a statement rug.”

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